Science and Religion

Master Jingzong; English translation by Chia Chang Wang, edited by Jingtu

“Religion” here refers specifically to faiths that embrace a single creator-god.

Science and religion are like day and night. Science resembles the day; it wants to reveal things clearly. Religion is like the night, intending to enshroud everything.

Don’t criticize religions as “superstitious,” or complain that God is unknowable and unquestionable. The status and value of religion derives from the mystery of the unknowable and the authority of the unquestionable. It’s like the presence of night being rooted in invisible darkness.

Don’t expect the advance of science to expel religion eventually. The two cannot replace each other. Although they will wax and wane like the sun rising and setting, it can only be either day or night, never both. Even if science could explain all things, religion would continue to exist because people need both to manifest the facts and to conceal the truth. In essence, religion exists to fulfill human beings’ psychological needs. All things that are visible during the day must also vanish under the darkness of night, just as facts that are discovered by science will be given value and meaning via its passage through unfathomable religion.

Under the radiance of science, everything becomes clear. But is this really good, truly meaningful? No, for life would become insipid. Those who believe that science will one day replace religion are overly naive.

One who lives in daylight all the time would be constantly excited and die from exhaustion. We need the night to rest; God is that night.

Don’t chide a scientist who believes in religion. He too is human. He needs to rest, and the darkness allows him to rest well.

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